To save Manhattan, they’ll have to save each other first…
1925, New York
Arthur Kenzie’s life’s work is protecting the world from the supernatural relics that could destroy it. When an amulet with the power to control the tides is shipped to New York, he must intercept it before it can be used to devastating effects. This time, in order to succeed, he needs a powerful psychometric…and the only one available has sworn off his abilities altogether.
Rory Brodigan’s gift comes with great risk. To protect himself, he’s become a recluse, redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. But with the city’s fate hanging in the balance, he can’t force himself to say no.
Being with Arthur is dangerous, but Rory’s ever-growing attraction to him begins to make him brave. And as Arthur coaxes him out of seclusion, a magical and emotional bond begins to form. One that proves impossible to break—even when Arthur sacrifices himself to keep Rory safe and Rory must risk everything to save him.
This story was so much fun and also had a lot of heart as well as heart-racing tension! I really had a good time with this one.
Spellbound is a romance focused historical fantasy–which is everything right up my alley. We have Rory, who was orphaned as a child and raised by a lady who runs an antique appraisal shop. Rory has a magical ability, he’s able to touch an object and see its history. He uses this ability to assist in the shop with authentications. Of course, having these powers is dangerous as it’s possible for him to get lost in a vision of the past and be unable to return his mind to present day. It’s also dangerous just to have magic powers in general and he tries to stay under the radar. Then you have Arthur Kenzie, he’s a wealthy son of a politician and he uses he assets to find and contain/destroy dangerous magical artifacts. They’re drawn together when Arthur suspects a psychometric at the antique shop and hopes to ferret them out in order to have them assist with identifying a relic.
I quite enjoyed the relationship between Arthur and Rory. They’re so different in personality and circumstance and yet they balance each other well. It’s obvious once Arthur and Rory meet that there’s some sort of spark there but there’s no insta-love–maybe insta-attraction which is much more believable. Arthur spends a good amount of time fighting his attracting to Rory arguing with himself that he’s too old for him and that he feels like he’s taking advantage (Rory’s twenty and Arthur is eight years older). On the one hand I really appreciated Arthur thinking about these things. On the other hand, I personally think Arthur was being a bit dramatic over this worry. Rory is young but he’s been through a lot in life and he’s perfectly capable of making adult decisions. Either way, this did serve to create a good bit of light angst on both sides, which I enjoyed.
The pacing of the story was really good and I liked that there were multiple challenges our characters had to work through. There was also some nice reveals, even though you could kind of see them coming I still enjoyed them. As for the magic–the kind of magic where it’s like superpowers and people have different abilities, that’s some of my favorite kinds of magic in stories. It’s always interesting to see what the powers are and what people do with them. For instance, combination locks aren’t safe from Rory since he can just look into their history and see the combinations. I also like to see how a group of people with powers work together with their various abilities. So this was really fun for me. I also appreciated that Arthur is non-magical. He’s kind of like the Bruce Wayne/Batman character of the group–his superpower is money and his place in society. 😉
Overall, I had a fun time reading this story! I’m definitely going to be reading the next book in the series. 4/5 stars.